When I was in my 30s and 40s, I was one very busy lady: I worked full time at a fairly demanding job, had a child in elementary school (just ONE!), a workaholic husband, and was active in many church and community activities.
I've wondered in recent years where I found the time and energy to do all of that plus fix meals, do grocery shopping, clean house, attend meetings, and I also sewed a lot of mine and my daughter's clothing. Oh, and I had a garden and did a fair bit of yard work.
I had energy. I was organized.
In more recent years I have wondered where I found the energy to do it, the time to fit it all in.
I remember. In the last couple of weeks, we've been very busy with various projects: real estate, of course, although it is deadly quiet, so our efforts have been directed towards marketing our properties; writing gigs have come to us that have kept us heads-down at our respective computers and working long days; various volunteer efforts continue to take at least some time; and there's the usual cooking, grocery shopping, planting and tending the garden, cleaning house, etc. The more I have to do, the more organized I've become. And surprisingly, the more energy I have to get it done.
I make lists. I've always been a listmaker. Sometimes I never refer to them again after I've written them; it helps simply to jot down all the thoughts in my head and that helps prioritize them. And sometimes I rely on the list to direct my entire day: I check off one project and go on to the next. The next day I do another list with anything left undone from the previous day at the top of the list.
It helps. It takes the organization out of my head and puts it tangibly on paper, and then I don't have to worry over it or wonder what I'm forgetting to do. I put deadline reminders in my (still paper) organizer sometimes, especially for things that are months in advance, and that helps.
It's the stuff that's optional, sortakinda, that gets lost, though -- I've been trying to finish up the garden for two weeks, and while I've got the other half tilled and ready to plant, the seed packets are still sitting there.
Oh, my intentions were really good. Last weekend I bought a few veggies in the little peat pots -- some peppers, tomatoes, a cucumber -- and intended to put them in on Sunday. I left them, along with a little 6-pack of Dusty Miller, on the edge of the front porch. Uh-uh. Wrong move.
I can say definitively that our deer do not like Dusty Miller. They do, however, love the tomatoes, peppers and cuke. The little plants were nibbled down to an inch of oozing stem. I've put the mutiliated plants in the safety of the garden fencing in hopes that the stubs will sprout leaves, but I really need to make a trip to Home Depot to find some replacements.
And yet...I'm working on deadlines still, due next week, and tend to do only what's absolutely necessary like meals and laundry.
Nevertheless, I like being busy and feeling energized. And I went back to yoga last night for this next six-week session, and that always makes me feel good. I guess it's again a matter of maintaining balance, isn't it....figuratively in my everyday tasks and work tasks, and literally in those blasted tree poses for yoga.
I know it'll all get done eventually. What I also want is to enjoy the journey, knowing that the deadlines and to-do lists are good things, and not something to obsess about, at least unduly. If I follow my lists, I'll have time to get it done without too much stress...